from Suddhodana’s Poems
It’s almost evening and I can hear the honey-gatherers
returning home with sun-mulled gourds of nectar—
how good it must be paying heed to meadows, flowering
thickets, every day listening to music forged by insects;
every day finding yellow ore in hollows and walls,
storing the hoard, and later watching each jar receive
the gleam of a lamp. Here they come through the gates,
walking the lanes towards the merchants, who’ll pour
the sun-laden, slow-dripping yield into their vats
and sell pots to the townsfolk and the confectioners.
Look, how the light rings their lips: sticky lascivious
licks; how the sun, from whose mouth all this comes,
burnishes them. Where have they been today? Perhaps
to the bougainvilleas, perhaps to the red-blossoming
asokas. Here they come, singing the honey home.
Judith Beveridge is the author of six collections of poetry. Her New and Selected Poems will be published in 2018. She was poetry editor for Meanjin during 2005-15.